Mercedes E-Class Estate review
“The Mercedes E-Class Estate is a seriously practical car with a luxurious interior and the latest technology”
- Very comfortable
- Beautiful interior
- Efficient engines
- Quite expensive
- Noisy diesel engine
- Rivals are more fun to drive
Mercedes has enjoyed domination of the large executive estate class at various times, but today buyers are spoilt for choice, with rivals like the Audi A6 Avant, BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V90 all vying for a spot on your driveway.
Just like the Mercedes E-Class saloon, the Estate aims to win you over with its smooth and comfortable ride and attractive interior. Unlike the saloon – which we’ve reviewed separately – the Estate can carry a wardrobe in the boot, or whisk its owners, dogs and a roof-load of bikes on holiday across Europe.
Since its arrival, the E-Class range has been bolstered with a few more engines, and buyers can even choose 4MATIC four-wheel drive, making it even more versatile. If you plan on tackling the odd track or grassy field, it might even be worth looking at the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain, with higher ground clearance, as it can make the perfect alternative to an SUV.
The E-Class estate was facelifted in 2020, alongside the rest of the E-Class range. Changes included a smarter front end and tweaked tail-lights, while inside there’s a new touchscreen and a redesigned steering wheel that no longer needs to be held when you have activated the driver assistance features.
Mercedes’ styling department is on something of a roll at the moment, successfully attracting younger buyers to models with the three-pointed star and giving its image a real overhaul. This even extends to the conservative E-Class, which now looks far more dynamic than its boxy predecessors, even if it’s not quite as sporty as the smaller Mercedes C-Class Estate or Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
Using the Mercedes S-Class as an inspiration for the interior has also been a good move. Not only are materials first class, the E-Class has character too, with design touches you only get in a Mercedes adding to its special feeling. Interior space for passengers certainly isn’t lacking either and the boot is one of the largest of any estate; it’s also usefully shaped, has a much larger opening than the saloon and a flat loading floor.
Diesel engines still make up a strong proportion of E-Class estate sales, so there are still three to choose from. The 2.0-litre diesel E 220 d is the least expensive and it’s joined by the E 300 d and E 400 d, which both come with 4MATIC four-wheel drive as standard. The system adds extra grip in adverse driving conditions at the cost of a slight reduction in fuel economy. The 3.0-litre six-cylinder E 400 d diesel model provides extra power and smoothness, while those after even more speed can go for the high-performance four-wheel-drive Mercedes-AMG E53 mild-hybrid petrol model or the extremely high-performance AMG E63 S model, which we've reviewed separately.
There’s one standard ‘E 200’ petrol engine available on lower trim levels and a diesel plug-in hybrid is offered on all AMG Line variants. The estate gets a slimmer selection of engines than the saloon, although most bases should still be covered.
All models are very well equipped, with Sport boasting climate control, Bluetooth, sat nav and leather upholstery, as well as handy features such as keyless-go, a reversing camera, bright LED headlamps and Parktronic, while a powered tailgate is also standard to help you make the most of that vast luggage area.
The E-Class estate in Sport trim looks more understated than the more expensive AMG Line versions, which combine the equipment of the Sport with a deeper spoiler, side skirts and chunky 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, although we found the bigger ones make the car a little more unsettled on harsh surfaces than the smaller wheels. Mercedes is aiming the AMG Line at driving enthusiasts and has included a seat comfort package for extra body support during spirited cornering.
AMG Line cars also get three-zone climate control, while AMG Line Premium adds keyless entry, upgraded headlights and augmented reality sat nav. The AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus has a kit list as long as its name, with 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, Mercedes’ Energising package and a Burmester sound system.
The latest E-Class Estate builds on the proven talents of its predecessors, but adds greater enjoyment. When it comes to outright back-road fun, the Mercedes does lag behind the BMW 5 Series Touring, but makes amends for that with exceptional quietness and smoothness.